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A festival for English and French-language literature from the far north

Ottawa/Frankfurt, 7 October 2016 – Yesterday, Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, signed the contract for Canada’s participation as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 (14-18 October 2020).

This appearance as Guest of Honour in Frankfurt is Canada’s first major international project supported jointly by English and French-language publishers and authors. Authors from both language areas as well as literary representatives of the First Nations are expected in Frankfurt. The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 Committee (CanadaFBF2020), which will be involved in the organisation of the appearance, is made up of Canadian book publishers, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), and is supported by the export associations Livres Canada Books and Québec Edition.

Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, said: “There is strong international interest in learning more about Canadian publishers, authors, culture and media. Canada brings to the world stage a strong commitment to its bilingual tradition and embraces the diverse immigrant cultures that contribute to its society. We are pleased that Canada accepts this invitation to showcase its rich literary, cultural and linguistic heritage to global industry representatives.”

According to the Honourable Mélanie Joly: “Our Government is committed to ensuring that readers everywhere have access to a wide range of Canadian-authored books, and I look forward to showcasing Canada’s book industry—as well as our country’s artistic and cultural sector—at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020. This is a fantastic opportunity to enable Canada’s artists and cultural entrepreneurs to maximize their full export potential, to help increase their competitive position on the international stage, and to ensure long-term sustainability, which will contribute to Canada’s overall economic and social prosperity.”

During the signing ceremony, Caroline Fortin of Éditions Québec-Amérique and President of the CanadaFBF2020 Committee, said: “The Canadian publishing industry has worked together for the past three years on this project, so it is with great enthusiasm that we welcome this fantastic news. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international hub of the publishing world and being its Guest of Honour will provide extraordinary opportunities to showcase our world class literature, books, and Canadian culture.”

An overview of the Canadian book market:
The number of Canadian publishers has tripled in the last 25 years: 1,500 Canadian publishers, including numerous independent publishing houses, produce and distribute some 80 per cent of the books written in Canada. The publishing products of 300 publishing houses generate 95 per cent of total sales. The Canadian publishing industry produces 10,000 titles by Canadian authors annually.
64.6 per cent of total sales of books and e-books are generated in the province of Ontario (English speaking), while 29.9 per cent of sales occur in Québec (French speaking). In 2010, English-language books generated 77.8 per cent of total sales, while titles in French accounted for 22.2 per cent of sales. A particular feature of the Canadian market is the fact that major multinational publishing groups such as HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and Hachette maintain their own branch offices in Canada, serving the English-language market from there. The ratio of Canadian to multinational publishing houses is 69.8 per cent to 30.2 per cent. In other words, Canadian publishers compete with other groups. E-books account for about 17 per cent of books sold. For most publishers, e-books represent a 20 per cent share of their sales. In 2014, 93 per cent of publishers offered e-books, and roughly half of them made 50 per cent of all their titles available as e-books.

About the Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 275,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists – including 2,000 bloggers - in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurt Book Fair organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurt Book Fair offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.

Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurt Book Fair
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-138,
Kathrin Grün, PR manager, Tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-170,
> Press information online >
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